Which Way Is Clockwise?

The Weekend Getaway is officially over - it's Monday, and we went back to work (or daycare, depending on your age). I wasn't feeling well today - sore throat, headache, general ickiness. But when you make your living coding Java, and you have a laptop, illness doesn't stop you from doing what you do: I worked from home.

(Before I continue, I want to reiterate that I will have pictures from The Getaway and The Mystery Sweater, but my camera is seriously on the fritz. Will have a backup plan soon... I hope.)

I was busy all morning solving code problems, so by lunchtime I needed a mental break. But knitting was not in the cards, no sir. It was time to try something new. Something I've been putting off for fear of failure. Yes, my friends, it was time to


I broke out my drop spindle and the roving that came with it. I read through the instructions. And then I gave it a try. And... it's not going so well. I could bore you with all my complaints, but I won't, I'll just mention the biggest one. I can't figure out which way to spin the spindle. The directions say to turn it clockwise, but which end of the spindle do I gauge that off of? I've tried spinning it both ways, and neither creates yarn that keeps its twist. I've broken the yarn a few times already, and no matter what I try, I can't get the ends to mesh back together (whoops, I said I'd only complain about one spinning issue. Sue me.). By the time my lunch hour was over, I was seriously thinking of using my spindle as kindling.

And that concludes Day 1: Learning To Spin. Day 2 should be much more... frustrating? Productive? Photographic (if I fix my camera woes)? None of the above? Tune in and find out.


Cris said...

I hear ya, sister! Beginning with the spindle was frustrating for me too. It does get better, I promise!

Judge your "clockwise" spinning from looking down at your spindle; imagine a clock laying face-up on the floor, and your spindle hanging over it. Look DOWN at the clock and the spindle, and then spin the spindle clockwise to match the clock. (It's a lot harder to describe this in words than it would be to demonstrate!)

Clockwise vs. counter-clockwise spin isn't what's making your yarn break; there's nothing magical about twisting one way that holds and the other way doesn't. I'm too much of a beginner to know for sure, but from my own spindle-dropping experience I'd suggest maybe your yarn isn't twisted enough to hold itself together? The direction of twist doesn't matter, but the amount does. Or could it be too thin? I hesitate to make suggestions, I barely know what I'm doing myself yet!

Whatever the case, don't worry, you'll get it! It does take practice, but eventually it really does become fun instead of frustrating!

Deb S. said...

I'm sure you'll figure it out. It will just take practice.

The frustrating new thing for me was learning to machine quilt. Straight lines with a walking foot ... piece of cake. Free motion (where you control the stitches and can do all kinds of curvy designs) freaked me out. When you get a big clump of thread on the back of the quilt, it is called a birds nest and believe me, I made more than a few!

But with practice, patience, practice, experimentation (and did I mention practice), I'm able to do a pretty good job with my free motion quilting. And my name is really easy to write into my quilting.


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